Type – Adapted to Everyday Life

Typography as the highest form of visual communication
A talk with Adrian Frutiger

We can read because we perceive elements and forms which are familiar to us. So in order to even recognize words, we must first decipher the elements which make up the shapes of the letters – a process which involves the interplay of myriad aspects. To a certain degree, many of us are aware of these aspects. Yet Adrian Frutiger knows about such shifting dynamics in perception in a way no other person can, as he has been instrumental in researching the subject and over several decades has continuously applied this knowledge to his work. This knowledge, we could say, is the fruit of his unerring awareness of form, his analytic thinking, his technical know-how and his sense of aesthetics, which have all come together to make him one of the most well-known type artists in the world.

Type has become such an everyday part of our lives, we are hardly aware of it anymore. Who wakes up in the morning and opens the newspaper to exclaim “Behold, here is type!” On the contrary, we rarely give type a second thought. In Frutiger’s eyes, for a typeface to go unnoticed “is the greatest compliment a type designer and a typographer can receive.”

“The whole point with type is for you not to be aware it is there,” Frutiger says and makes an impressive comparison: “If you remember the shape of a spoon with which you just ate some soup, then the spoon had a poor shape. Spoons and letters are tools. The first we need to ingest bodily nourishment from a bowl, the latter we need to ingest mental nourishment from a piece of paper.”

Search with the keyword for ‘Frutiger’ to find all fonts in the Linotype Library designed by Adrian Frutiger.

more ... Omnipresent throughout his work